Food prices have surged in Russia to levels exceeding the rate of food price inflation throughout the Western bloc, forcing Russians to spend an unusually high portion of their personal income on food as the country continues its war in Ukraine.
In remarks to reporters from Reuters, the director of the United Nations food agency’s Russian liaison said that Russian citizens were spending an average of 40 percent of their disposable income on food, which constitutes twice as high a share of proportional spending on food as prior to the invasion.
According to data from the Russian government, food price inflation reached 18.75 percent by the beginning of April (compared to 7.5 percent for the European Union), as international sanctions have reduced the supply of familiar foodstuffs in the Russian Federation.
While Russia faces its own food price inflation crisis, much of the region is afflicted by similar tribulations as a consequence of the invasion, which has cut off exports of staple grains from both Russia and Ukraine. Throughout the Middle East and North Africa, the specter of a wheat crisis has arisen, as most of the countries in the region rely heavily on wheat exports from the two warring Eastern European nations.
Within Russia, food price inflation is only one of the most acute symptoms of an overall shellacking of the Russian economy, which has been severely harmed by Western sanctions. Though the ruble (Russia’s fiat currency) has rebounded from the lows of March for the time being, Russia’s economy has suffered from the cutting off of Western exports to the nation, as well as the refusal of Western financial institutions to do business with the Russian state.